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Gahshiri: Flushing Korean eatery prompts return visits

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The name on the sign, , transliterates to Gahshiri, and means "Come Back Again." Don't be put off by the Korean language sign. The staff is fluent in English and welcoming to non-Koreans.The na•ve charm of partial thatched roofs strategically placed around the dining room is reinforced by large clusters of artificial sweet and white potatoes hung like Italian restaurants used to do with plastic grapes. Vintage black and white photos of old Korea decorate the walls. The overall effect is both amusing and charming.Had the decor not done it for me, I knew that I picked the right place when I discovered that Gahshiri uses real wood charcoal - not gas burners - for their barbecue. The real deal!As with every Korean meal, we began with pan chan, the little dishes of hors d'oeuvres/condiments that you nibble before, during and after your meal. They included a lovely, unspicy pumpkin puree, as well as crab in a spicy sauce, octopus, multiple varieties of kimchee and other goodies.The barbecue at Gahshiri is awesome. A carnivore's paradise. All the meat we scarfed down was as well marbled as it was meticulously trimmed. The garlicky marinade amplified the meaty flavors without obscuring them. Choices include various cuts of beef, pork, duck and entrails. If you're a beginner, try kal bi (short ribs) or bul go gi beef and the do ji kal bi (pork ribs.)The meat is grilled for you on charcoal braziers set into the tables. You place a piece of meat in a lettuce leaf, add some sauce, maybe a little raw garlic, thinly sliced red onion, chili pepper if you're bold, and whichever of the pan chan that catch your fancy, and roll it all up tortilla-style in the lettuce leaf. The meat sauce is made from doenjang, the slightly coarser Korean version of miso, for which many health claims are made.Rice is served after the barbecue (with some overlap) along with soup. Ask for the brown rice, which is actually sticky white rice made brown by cooking it with an assortment of beans. It has an unusual nutty flavor and is a good spice absorber if you've dug too enthusiastically into the kimchee.While the barbecue is a must, you might want to try one of the traditional New Year's soups. Duk-guk is a thick beef broth with thinly sliced rice cakes that have been topped with green onions and other colorful garnishes. Some Koreans eat man doo guk instead, which is duk-guk with man doo dumplings. Tradition dictates that this food must be eaten in order to turn one year older. This is very important as Korean age is calculated on the New Year. Everyone becomes one year older on New Year's Day.The alcoholic beverage of choice at this and most Korean eateries is soju, a sort of high-octane sake. Choose from flavors with ingredients like sweet potato, barley and tapioca. Some are sweeter than others, but all pack a wallop. For something a little less potent, try some pomegranate wine. Not a drinker? Stick with Bori cha (barley tea).Desserts are rather neglected in Korean cuisine. If you're lucky, you might get some chewy rice cakes, or sujeonggwa (persimmon punch). Maybe just an orange.The Bottom LineGahshiri will delight meat lovers with its spectacular barbecue. Round out your order with man doo (dumplings) or pa jun (pancakes) for a terrific meal while soaking up the unique atmosphere. They also offer a great lunch deal on weekdays for $13.95 for barbecue with all the trimmings. Gahshiri will really make you want to "Come Back Again."162-04 Northern Blvd., Flushing718-888-9400Cuisine: KoreanSetting: Country KoreanService: Friendly, informative, fluent in EnglishHours: Lunch & Dinner daily until 3 a.m.Reservations: OptionalAlcohol: Full license with many Korean specialty drinksParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: No menuMusic: RecordedTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: Two steps up to entranceA Sample from the MenuSang Kal Bi Gooi (prime boneless short ribs of beef)...$19.95Bul Go Gi (thin sliced prime beef)...$16.95Doe Ji Kal Bi (pork ribs)...$16.95Duk Guk ...(ricecake soup)...$6.95Man Doo Guk (dumpling soup)...$6.95Ha Mool Pa jun ( seafood & scallion pancake)...$11.95

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